Levofloxacin

Levaquin™

What It's For & How To Take

Levofloxacin is a quinolone-type antibiotic that works by blocking the growth of bacteria. Levofloxacin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections.

Do not take an antibiotic without first being seen by a prescriber. Not all antibiotics work for all types of infections. If you take an antibiotic that is not prescribed for you, the condition might get worse.

Levofloxacin will not work to treat the common cold or the flu. This antibiotic may not be effective if it has been overused in conditions that are not related to bacterial infections.

Levofloxacin is usually taken once daily, or as directed by your physician. Take levofloxacin at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after antacids such as Tums™, Maalox™ or Mylanta™. Some foods high in calcium such as yogurt or milk may also block levofloxacin from working. Ask your pharmacist what you can and can’t have with this medication. Take levofloxacin with a full glass of water.

Take this medication at evenly spaced intervals. Antibiotics work best when a constant level of the medication is maintained in the body.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Unless otherwise directed, do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Take this medication until it is all done, even if you are feeling better and the symptoms are gone. If you stop taking your antibiotic, the infection might come back and may be harder to treat.

Most Important Warnings

  • This class of medication increases the chance of irreversible serious adverse reactions. Stop this medication immediately and call your health care provider if you experience any of the following reactions: Tendon pain and rupture. Nerve pain. Central nervous system effects.
  • Because this medication has the potential for serious side effects, reserve its use for use in patients who have no alternative treatment for respiratory infections involving their sinus or airway passage, or uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
  • Levofloxacin should not be taken if you have a disease called myasthenia gravis.

Warnings & Cautions

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, levofloxacin may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.
  • Diabetic warning, this medication may affect your blood sugar. Watch for symptoms of increased blood sugar such as frequent urination and thirst. Watch for symptoms of decreased blood sugar such as dizziness, sweating, hunger and blurred vision. If you are a diabetic, you should check your blood sugar and contact your doctor if you notice changes.
  • You are more likely to get a sunburn while taking this medication. If you can't stay out of the sun, cover up with clothing and sunscreen.
  • Levofloxacin may increase the effects of caffeine. Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
  • Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking levofloxacin.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking levofloxacin.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if levofloxacin is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a history of diabetes, heart disease, any joint or tendon problems or pain, any nerve disease,  a history of liver or kidney disease or any other medical conditions.
  • While taking levofloxacin, you may have some nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. You may also experience a minor headache or some trouble sleeping. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any vision changes, severe dizziness or fainting, severe abdominal pain, constant diarrhea or mucus or blood in your stool.
  • Rarely, levofloxacin may cause nerve problems such as painful tingling or burning on your skin. If you have any of these effects, call your doctor or pharmacist right away.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how to store your medication and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In the case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.